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If you’re a stockbroker or brokerage firm looking for an investment platform that allows you to invest in many different kinds of products and customize your account for your specific needs, check out TradeStation.
AT A GLANCE
- Commission-free* equities trading
- More than 2,000 commission-free* ETFs
- As low as $0.50 per contract
- Cutting edge trading technology
Best stock trading platform for research
Pros & Cons
TradeStation has several advantages for stockbrokers and stock brokerage firms. It also has some disadvantages.
If you’re an advanced investor who’s looking for an investment platform that can be customized to your specific needs, consider looking into TradeStation.
TradeStation is one of the best online brokerages for day trading, and it can be customized with hundreds of apps. You can even code your own trading programs if you know how to do that.
Minimum Deposit: Any amount
Trading Fees: $0
Promotion: Get $150 cash (with a deposit of $500 or more)
TradeStation is a platform that allows users to invest in many different types of products. These include:
- Futures Options
- Mutual Funds
William and Rafael Cruz founded TradeStation when they wanted to create, test, optimize, and automate their own custom trading strategies. They tested ideas by gathering trading data and creating charts.
As a result, they created an easy-to-use coding language named EasyLanguage. They founded a company called Omega Research, which focused on selling trading tools to clients with no technical expertise.
Over time they released other software products and eventually released TradeStation in 1991. In 2001, Omega Research renamed itself TradeStation and became a securities brokerage firm.
During 2004 and 2005, TradeStation converted into a self-clearing equity and options firm. A whole industry eventually developed around TradeStation's software, including user groups, seminars, and publications.
TradeStation allows users to trade and invest in different types of products, such as stocks, options, futures options, IPOs, ETFs, Futures, and Mutual Funds.
They have very impressive equity offerings because they offer penny stocks and allow their customers access to international markets in Asia, Europe, and the UK.
It also lets its customers buy into initial public offerings, which are usually hard for individual investors to access. The only things they don’t offer are advisory services, fractional shares, and cash management services.
Pricing & Fees
TradeStaton offers two different products, TS Select and TS Go. They don’t charge any commission for trades, but their contract fees vary depending on the pricing plan selected.
With this option, traders will pay 60 cents per contract for stock options, $1.50 per contract per side for Futures, 50 cents per contract per side for Micro Futures, and $1.50 per contract, per side for Futures options.
It’s free to trade on the web, with mobile apps, and on the TradeStation Desktop app. Traders will also receive real-time market data for free.
With TS Go, traders pay 50 cents per contract for stock options, 85 cents per contract for futures, 50 cents per contract, per side for Micro Futures, and $1.50 per contract, per side for futures options.
Web and Mobile app trading are free with TS Go, but surcharges apply for trades made on the TradeStation desktop app. Real-time market data is also free.
Who is TradeStation Best For?
TradeStation is best for advanced and active traders, those who trade stocks, options, and futures. It’s great for day traders and serious investors.
Institutional investors such as hedge funds, family offices, and investment bank proprietary trading desks use TradeStation. Their desktop trading platform is very sophisticated.
Not only does it have great charting, automated trading, and real-time scanning of market indicators, it’s also very customizable. You can download different apps to create new strategies and tools, and if you know how to code, you can create your own strategies directly on the platform.
Compare to Other Brokers
Should You Use TradeStation?
If you’re an advanced investor looking for a new investment platform, TradeStation may be a good option for you. They offer many different types of products.
They provide help to investors; their pricing is competitive; and their simulated training environment is powerful. If you’re looking at TradeStation, look at their fees and decide if you’re willing to pay them when making trades, and decide which option is going to be best for you based on how you want to make trades.
Also, consider how much help you’ll need with your trading account and whether you’ll be willing to wait a long time for customer service if you have to contact them.
Once you’ve answered these questions, if you think you want to set up an account, take the next step and go to their website to get started.
TradeStation’s platform is very stable and reliable and is available 99.9% of the time. They have exceptional charting, technical analysis, backtesting, order entry, and trade automation are exceptional.
So yes, it appears that TradeStation can be trusted.
There are a few less subtle ways that TradeStation makes money without charging commissions to its customers:
Interest on idle cash
TradeStation generates income on idle cash by paying you interest on the difference between their earnings on your cash balances and what you receive from idle cash.
Order flow payments
Market makers often pay brokers to direct options and equity orders to them. This is known as PFOF, or payment for order flow. The average price per share paid to them for equity trades is $0.0018, while the average price per option contract is $0.53.
TradeStation’s 'intelligence' allows it to optimize prices and liquidity while simultaneously executing orders quickly. Typically, equity orders on TradeStation receive $.007 a share for price improvement, and options orders get $6.49 a contract in price improvement. Options traders benefit greatly from this.
Brokerage stock loan programs
Brokers make money through these programs when securities in customer accounts are short sold by other investors or hedge funds. Clients can take advantage of TradeStation’s Fully Paid Stock Lending Program if they own stocks and have $25,000 or more in net worth, or at least a year's experience trading.
Your interest rate is based on the loan market's demand and the value of the security.
To set up a TradeStation account, first, you’ll have to complete an application form. Then you’ll select to open either TS Select or TS Go account and create an interactive broker account username and password.
Next, you’ll upload a copy of your ID card or passport, as well as proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement. Your account will be approved and funded.
Finally, you’ll receive instructions for downloading and configuring the TradeStation Global platform.
Some people say that customer support is inconsistent, but it is available Monday–Friday from 8 am to 5 pm Eastern time. They also provide educational resources like free video tutorials, articles, and e-books available through TradeStation University.
You can also access daily pre-market briefings and trader reviews at TradeStation Labs.
Whether you trade stocks, ETFs, options, or futures, TradeStation's award-winning desktop platform delivers the power, speed, and flexibility active traders demand.